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Bleak and stormy times for fishermen in Malaysia by Mohd Kamal Ishak September 16,2020   |  Source: FMT

Zulkifli Subran sighs heavily as he gazes out to sea, dreaming about better times when making decent money from coastal fishing in Malaysia was possible.

After three decades as a fisherman, the 46-year-old is well aware that his source of livelihood isn’t always under his control.

External factors like unpredictable weather, and temporary inconveniences like the movement control order make it hard for him to catch in-demand fish and sell them at a reasonable profit.

It’s becoming more and more difficult for fishermen like him to sustain themselves.

“I often go down to the water, only to see that it’s not flowing, as older fishermen say. When I haul in the nets, they’re empty, there’s no fish,” he told FMT.

Whatever he catches he takes to town to sell to local fishmongers. They only want certain fish, so that means, he can’t sell all of his meagre catch.

“We look at the size of the fish. Bigger is obviously better price wise. For a croaker fish, sometimes it’s RM1.50, sometimes just RM1.”

He shrugs as if to say, “What can you do?”

This burdensome life is shared by Saiful Baharain Ab Khair, 49, a fellow fisherman.

Saiful first took to the sea at 13 because of the poverty in which his family lived.

“As far as school was


© 2020 FMT Media Sdn Bhd. All Rights Reserved.

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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